Follow Heather Twitter Facebook
Email Heather Email
Education
Feb 3, 2020

Encore Career – As An Entrepreneur

Sponsored Content provided by Heather McWhorter - Interim Director, UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Who are today’s ambitious startup entrepreneurs? That answer is different than it was 20 years ago. Most startup entrepreneurs are still white and male, but the demographics of founders are becoming much more diverse in terms of age and race.

According to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, in the Kauffman Index that tracks entrepreneurial trends in the U.S., new entrepreneurs are split almost evenly across age groups, but older adults have become the fastest growing segment.

Believe it or not, the percentage of college students and young 20-somethings starting businesses has been decreasing for years. Surprised? Although the myth, reinforced by media coverage, is of young college students working in a garage or dorm and coming up with the newest technologies that become the next Apple, Microsoft, Uber, or Facebook, most entrepreneurs defy that stereotype.
 
In 1996, 34% of entrepreneurs were 20-34 years old. By 2015, it was 25%. Look who’s taking up the slack – Baby Boomers and Generation X! Gen X is the demographic cohort following the Baby Boomers and preceding the Millennials (typically birth years 1965 to 1980). Startups founded by entrepreneurs 55-64 increased from 15% to 24% over the past 20 years.

A study of 2014 data by the US Small Business Administration found fewer than 4 percent of 30-year-olds reported they were in full-time self-employment — a proxy for entrepreneurship — compared with 5.4 per cent of Gen Xers, and 6.7 per cent of Baby Boomers at the same age. 

Although you may find that hard to believe, it’s no surprise at the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). The CIE is home to dozens of entrepreneurs and some of the most dedicated are Baby Boomers and Gen Xers pursuing their encore careers.

Alina Szmant, PhD, co-founder of CISME, is a retired UNCW professor of marine biology. Alina is pursuing the commercialization of an instrument that allows diving scientists to measure coral health indicators without damaging corals. CISME Instrument has been sold to scientists in several countries and is likely to be marketed worldwide by a marine equipment distributor. CISME was one of 40 finalists in the 2019 Fish 2.0 Competition selected to meet investors at the global summit.

Bruce Rice, CEO, of QuoteQuest brings years of experience in construction and purchasing to bear on his new business concept to facilitate the buying and selling of construction-related supplies. QuoteQuest is a platform that simplifies the purchasing process and gives buyers access to a national array of suppliers. It also feeds suppliers more RFQs for exactly the parts and materials they provide. Bruce is working with a CIE mentoring team that is helping him reach critical milestones in funding and launching his venture.
  
Scott Shane, author of The Illusions of Entrepreneurship, and leading expert in data analysis of entrepreneurial activity, points to the importance of experience. According to Shane, “The data shows that work experience increases a person’s chances of starting his own business.” Startup entrepreneurs typically have 10 or more years of experience in their field. Having knowledge of the industry and a deep network of contacts increases an entrepreneurs chances of success.

Is entrepreneurship the next chapter in your career? Stop by the CIE to explore the possibilities and learn about the services and support we can provide.        

Diane Durance, MPA, is director of UNC Wilmington's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). The CIE is a resource for the start-up and early-stage business community to help diversify the local economy with innovative solutions. For more information, visit www.uncw.edu/cie.  

Other Posts from Heather McWhorter

Uncw cie 21
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Earuth300x300

Economic Forecast Points to Calmer Real Estate Market

Ea Ruth - Cape Fear REALTORS®
Mikestonestreetcropped 862150530

The New Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Condo Questionnaire

Mike Stonestreet - CAMS (Community Association Management Services)
Jeremytomlinson enfuse headshot

37% of Orgs Said They Were the Victim of Ransomware In 2021

Jeremy Tomlinson - Enfuse Technology Solutions

Trending News

Wilmington Announces New Planning Director

Staff Reports - May 20, 2022

WECT Names General Sales Manager

Staff Reports - May 20, 2022

What’s Next For Wilmington East’s $315M Windfall?

Johanna F. Still - May 20, 2022

Owners Taking Fermental To New Level

Lynda Van Kuren - May 20, 2022

Info Junkie: Aariene Hansley

Staff Reports - May 20, 2022

In The Current Issue

Creative Campus Aims To Draw Artists

The Cucalorus Festival has covered a lot of ground over the past 28 years, and with executive director Dan Brawley at the helm, it continues...


Owners Taking Fermental To New Level

Fermental is one of Wilmington’s more unique watering holes – a bit quirky, but home to many loyal patrons who appreciate its laid-back atmo...


Local Startups Aim To Innovate

Innovation helps set a startup apart from the competition, said Heather McWhorter, regional director of the UNCW Small Business & Technology...

Book On Business

The 2022 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

Trying to Grow a Business?
2020 Health Care Heroes
2020 WilmingtonBiz 100